We’ve all heard it said – if you focus on just ‘one thing,’ you’re far more likely to succeed. From a business perspective, this makes sense. As Molly Ho writes, focusing on twelve different priorities is inefficient and distracting in our business.
But what about when it comes to goals and dreams? Many of us have multiple goals – our vision board is filled with fitness, social, family, financial, and business visions. And we typically try to pursue all of them at once. However, focus can truly be your singular greatest superpower if you can focus on just one goal -going all in – until it’s achieved.
Here are three ways to harness your greatest superpower.
Make Your Backup Plan A Variation Of Your First Plan With The Same Outcome
If you’re dead set on achieving one goal with no backup plans, you’re less likely to give up when you run into roadblocks. Celebrity consultant Luis Marcelino credits great minds like Thomas Edison and Albert Einstein when it comes to his inspiration for why to focus on his goals. “They pursued their passion until their vision became a reality, and believed so strongly in the vision that they refused to live without it,” Marcelino reflected.
So, when certain steps along the way presented challenges – such as a lightbulb that didn’t work – the backup plan wasn’t to ditch the whole initial plan and start on a new goal. The backup plan was a new way of achieving the same goal.
This is especially important for when you’re told you can’t achieve your goal. Laura Barlett pitched to venture capitalists on TV show Dragon’s Den for the finances to start her travel and fashion magazine “House of Coco” and was told in front of hundreds of thousands of viewers that her dream was impossible. Her backup plan was doing it anyway. Now, a few years later, her magazine is on shelves at places like Harrods to prove her back-up plan worked.
How to Harness Your Greatest Superpower: Focus | Stephanie Burns
Deposit Photos: Marek Uliasz
Stay True To Your Word Of Making Your Focus Your Sole Focus
Even if you currently have another job, hobby, or side hustle, commit to the knowing that your vision won’t manifest itself unless you go all in on the new focus. This inevitably means you might disappoint people and have to quit commitments that have been a long part of your life. But, every hour you spend working on something else is an hour you’re taking from your one goal.
Former professional basketball player Deon Taylor took this advice to heart when he pursued his longtime dream of filmmaking. “I forgot everything I was doing in my previous life,” he shared. “I became entirely consumed by the film. Every second of every day was about bringing it to life, and I sacrificed everything else.”
His film, Black and Blue, just came out in October.
Apply Focus To Your Focus
Finally, it’s not enough to just have one goal that you’re chasing. You have to have the strategies in place to accomplish that goal. Ali Mese commented in a Medium article about being particularly intrigued by the story of Adam Grant, who was the youngest person to become a professor at Wharton. Particularly, Grant had solved the issue of productivity for himself with “the batching of hard but important intellectual work in long, uninterrupted stretches.”
Keep in mind that you won’t suddenly be able to focus for this long if you try it tomorrow – focus is a muscle that has to be strengthened over time. On VeryWellMind, Kendra Cherry MS shared that the first step to focusing is to motivate yourself to focus by taking stock of the ways distractions are negatively impacting your life. Think of how being focused will lead to the achievement of your dreams and goals. Then, implement practices such as mindfulness to help train your brain.
Set aside several hours every single day to focus on your one thing with zero distractions. Your days should be almost singularly devoted to that one goal – which means you’ll log a lot of hours. It will be worth it.